Improving the understanding of the dynamics of open quantum systems
This thesis presents studies performed on open quantum systems, that is, quantum systems interacting with their surrounding environment. Such systems are important not only in understanding the quantum-to-classical transition but also for the practical implementation of modern quantum technologies. In studies of open quantum systems per- formed to date, a very common assumption is that the system and the environment are in separated initial states to begin with. One primary objective of this thesis is to critically analyse this assumption. As such, the core of this thesis incorporates the effect of the initial system-environment (SE) correlations that are present in the joint thermal equilibrium state of the system and the environment on the subsequent system dynamics. In this regard, we follow two different approaches to investigate the dynamics. First, we solve an exactly solvable spin-spin model where a central spin system interacts with a collection of quantum spins. We analyse exactly the central spin dynamics, starting from both initially correlated and uncorrelated SE states, and look at the dynamical differences due to the different starting states. Second, we consider an arbitrary system interacting with an arbitrary environment and derive a master equation that describes the system dynamics and also incorporates the effect of the initial SE correlations. This effect of initial correlations is captured by an extra term appearing in the master equation. The master equation is subsequently applied to the paradigmatic SE models such as the spin-boson model and the spin-spin model. We demonstrate that the role played by initial correlations can be noticeable even if the SE coupling strength is kept smaller.
Mirza, Muhammad Zia, and Adam Zaman Chaudhry “Master equation incorporating the system-environment correlations present in the joint equilib- rium state” published in Physical Review A, https://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.104.042205
Mirza and Ahsan Nazir “Work counting statistics in periodically driven strongly coulped quantum systems” (in progress).